Britain calls for probe into alleged Syrian chemical attack

British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has called on the international community to probe an alleged chlorine gas attack in Syria earlier this month. | Courtesy of the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office
In the wake of recent reports of a chemical attack on the Idlib province of Syria, British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond called on the international community to investigate the matter.

The alleged attack occurred on March 16, when witnesses reported that a government helicopter dropped barrels of chlorine gas on the town of Samrin and on a neighboring village. As a result of the attack, six people died, and an additional 70 were injured and treated at the Samrin Hospital.

"I am appalled by the reports in recent days of further chemical attacks against civilians in Idlib province, which have caused a number of fatalities," Hammond said. "The Syrian regime must provide a full account of these incidents. There needs to be a comprehensive investigation, and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons Fact Finding Mission must be allowed to establish whether this was indeed a chemical attack."

Hammond said the United Nations Security Council condemned the alleged attack. He also said the regime's use of these weapons violates multiple tenets of international law, including the Chemical Weapons Convention.

Hammond said the United Kingdom is committed to holding those responsible for this action accountable with the aid of the international community.

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